SolarPower Europe recently warned that time is running out to support European solar manufacturers and is urging decisive action. The trade association announced their concerns after a statement by the EU Finance Commissioner Mairead McGuinness in the European Parliament, highlighting the pricing crisis facing the European solar industry.

SolarPower Europe explained that the Commission will explore the impact of potential trade measures against European climate targets, bearing in mind that EU solar deployment targets rely on imports.

Walburga Hemetsberger, the CEO of SolarPower Europe, explains that history shows that trade defence measures didn’t necessarily revive the reshoring of solar manufacturing and came at a time when there were declines in solar deployment. Hemetsberger believes there are more stable solutions on offer. According to the CEO of SolarPower Europe, significant European plans for wind and hydrogen, SolarPower Europe is urging a specific EU Solar Charter.

The landscape for European solar manufacturers has changed since the introduction of the EU Solar Strategy in May 2022, with manufacturers now facing financial difficulties and requesting more support and better assistance. Hemetsberger recognises the acknowledgement of the Commissioner’s views on the role of the Net-Zero Industry Act and the EU Solar Strategy but believes further action is needed to support EU solar manufacturing.

The German industry is calling for a resilience plan for solar facilities developed with components manufactured in Europe and investment incentives for delivering new solar manufacturing sites to assist local manufacturers and reduce the dependence on China.

The action taken by the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) came after several businesses announced plans to close production facilities in Germany due to a lack of government assistance due to expansion plans for the US, lured by the benefits within the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

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